Perpetual Listings

I cannot hide the fact I like archives and labels. Which was the intended purpose of the reading list in the beginning: track and catalog books purchased and annotated. As it is, now I realize that the current number of twenty publications will need to be reduced to half for sanity’s sake— managing a reading schedule of ten books is easier to organize. Despite this, the index will remain a perpetual list: new books added off and on throughout the year.
Today I finished reading Amanda Auchter’s The Wishing Tomb. The poems collected focus on a chronological approach discussing the complex history of New Orleans—through multiple verses. Her sequential approach adds a sense of irony to the whole series—more or less showing humans running in place as time progresses. Society changes in slight variations.

I admire her intricate phrasing and odd enjambments—abstracting the view of the poem as well as the language. In my own work I have used New Orleans as a setting for a handful of poems—but as a minor relevance to the development of the verse.

Auchter’s poem-stories on the other hand create the city as a character onto itself: as a tarnished, middle-aged woman with too much make-up. Auchter switches from monologue narrations to personal stream of consciousness with a nervous camera obscura technique. A bitter love. A protest for change. Awareness for change.
We washed Brendan’s hair: the dirty blonde transformed to gold, to divine tangles and curls. Afterwards, still damp, he stood before me, pulling my hands over his ears as Ricky used the blow dryer. Brendan toyed with my t-shirt, humming and singing to himself, trying to ignore the angry buzzing clattering around his head.


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